OSLO, Norway, February 2, 2015 — ‘I condemn the bomb attacks in North Sinai yesterday, in which at least 30 people were killed and many injured. Most of the casualties were Egyptian soldiers. The bombings are the latest in a series of serious terrorist attacks that have taken place in Sinai and the rest of Egypt over the last year. Our thoughts and sympathies are with those who have lost loved ones in yesterday’s attacks,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
The bombings took place close to the cities of Arish and Rafah. According to media reports, the ‘Sinai province of the Islamic State’ has claimed responsibility. The nature of the attacks indicate that they had been carefully planned and closely coordinated. North Sinai has seen several violent incidents between militant Islamists and the Egyptian army, particularly over the last year.
‘The rise of extremist movements represents a serious threat in the region. I am following the situation in Sinai with great concern. The attacks in Sinai highlight the need for an intensified and coordinated effort by the international community to combat extremist movements,’ said Mr Brende.
Norway is concerned about the general escalation of violence that has targeted both the authorities and peaceful protestors in recent months.
‘I urge all parties to act with moderation and restraint. Long-term stability in Egypt will not be possible unless fundamental human rights, including the right to take part in peaceful demonstrations, are respected,’ said Mr Brende.
SOURCE: Norway – Ministry of Foreign Affairs